By Theckla Gunga – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Outstanding bench warrants remain a concern for almost all National Courts, in Papua New Guinea.
For Kwikila, the National Court is dealing with 23 outstanding bench warrants, 12 of which have already been heard, by National Court Judge, Justice Panuel Mogish.
These figures were released during the Court User Forum in Kwikila.
A bench warrant is a court order issued by a District or National Court to arrest accused persons, who are out on bail but fails to appear in court or had escaped from custody.
In the court user forum yesterday, Justice Mogish explained to Kwikila locals that everyone must be responsible for their actions and the community must assist in bring the remaining 12 people to court.
Some of these bench warrants dates back to 20 years ago.
In total, Papua New Guinea has over 5 000 outstanding bench warrants, 2,000 of them are pending cases.
Earlier in the year, Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia raised similar concerns for police and correctional officers to execute those outstanding warrants of arrests.
Sir Salamo said the judicial service is in dialogue with police officers to execute those outstanding bail warrants.
In the meantime, Justice Mogish urged those persons with outstanding bench warrants to come forward as he promised to extend their bails but with an increased cash bail.